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Autos stocks lead gains as European markets move higher; Danske Bank shares dive 5%

Sam Meredith
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.7 percent during mid-morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • Market focus is largely attuned to central bank expectations, with the Fed due to kick-off its two-day policy meeting later in the session.
  • May only has two days to secure approval for her deal to leave the European Union if she wants to meet with the bloc's leaders on Thursday with something to offer them in exchange for more time.

European stocks were higher Tuesday morning, as investors monitored heightened Brexit uncertainty and awaited the Federal Reserve 's latest monetary policy meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.7 percent during mid-morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Europe's autos stocks led the gains, up more than 2.4 percent after French daily Los Echos reported on Monday that the Peugeot family could favor Fiat Chrysler FCA-IT as a candidate for possible consolidation operations. Shares of Fiat Chrysler jumped 5 percent on the news. Faurecia EO-FR , Porsche and Daimler DAI-DE were also more than 3 percent higher.

Looking at individual stocks, Denmark's Danske Bank DANSKE-DK tumbled toward the bottom of the European benchmark on Tuesday. It comes after two U.S. law firms filed a lawsuit against the lender on behalf of institutional investors over a 200 billion euro ($227 billion) money laundering scandal. Shares of the Copenhagen-listed stock fell over 5 percent.

Meanwhile, Antofagasta ANTO-GB rose to the top of the index after it announced a higher-than-expected dividend payout on Tuesday. The mining company also reported a drop in annual core earnings that was in line with analyst expectations. Shares of the London-listed stock gained 3 percent.

Brexit drama

Market focus is largely attuned to central bank expectations, with the Fed due to kick-off its two-day policy meeting later in the session.

With global economic growth appearing to slow, most market participants anticipate the U.S. central bank to strike a dovish tone on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve is also expected to lower its interest rate forecasts — or "dot plots" — to show little or no further tightening in 2019.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was little changed from the previous session.

Back in Europe, fresh Brexit uncertainty dragged U.K. sterling to as low as $1.3183 overnight . It comes after the speaker of Parliament ruled that British Prime Minister Theresa May could not put her divorce deal to a new vote unless it was re-submitted in a substantially different form.

May only has two days to secure approval for her deal to leave the European Union if she wants to meet with the bloc's leaders on Thursday with something to offer them in exchange for more time.



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